You Need a Plan
By Rick Warren
“Sensible people always think before they act, but stupid people advertise their ignorance” (Proverbs 13:16 TEV).
If you want to achieve the goals you’ve made for yourself, you’ll need a plan to get from where you are to where you want to go. You’ll need a plan to overcome the expected problems you’ll face on that journey. Without a plan, all your goals will go up in smoke.
Genesis 24 tells the story of Eliazar’s ingenious plan to find a wife for his master’s son, Isaac. Eliazar had two major obstacles to fulfilling this goal. Where would he find a wife for Isaac in his master’s homeland? And how was he going to find a high character woman without observing her long term? Eliazar devised a predetermined plan to solve both of these problems.
First, Eliazar went to a place where women gathered in those days — a well. He had much higher odds of finding a wife at that well than any other place he could have gone.
And, Eliazar knew exactly how to get the type of wife he wanted for Isaac. He wanted to find a compassionate woman, so he looked for someone who would offer to draw up to 15 gallons of water for each of his 10 camels. That’s a lot of water!
Eliazar didn’t fly by the seat of his pants to accomplish his goal. Instead he prayerfully established a plan, and, ultimately, he was successful. In doing so he proved what the Bible says in Proverbs 13:16: “Sensible people always think before they act, but stupid people advertise their ignorance” (TEV).
Good planning — whether that plan is for your family, your work, your ministry, or a different area of your life — has three parts to it:
· Steps: You need to establish how you are going to get from where you are now to where you want to go. Write down those steps.
· Deadlines: Put a date with every one of those steps. A goal is a statement of faith as you say that you believe God wants you to accomplish your goal by a particular date.
· Schedule: Write those dates into your calendar. Don’t just hide it in a filing cabinet or up on a shelf. Show me what’s on your calendar, and I’ll tell you what’s important to you.
Studies show that only 5 percent of Americans have written down goals for their lives.
Those same studies show that the same 5 percent are the highest wage earners in the U.S. Successful people set their direction and go for it. Unsuccessful people drift. Life just happens to them. They don’t have any goals. They don’t know where they’re going in life. At the end of 2016, it’s just another year down the drain.
Don’t let that happen. Develop a plan to reach your goals this year.
Talk It Over
- Looking at some of the goals you’ve set for yourself, what are some step-by-step plans you can write down that can lead to these goals?
- What part or parts of the planning process do you struggle with the most: writing down your steps, planning a schedule, or keeping deadlines? Why do you think this is so?
- Why do you think God honors good planning?
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This devotional © 2016 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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